Rikki LaCour rising through the ranks with Rapids

Dave Kearsey
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Rikki LaCour, a 12-year-old Grade 7 student at G. C. Rowe Junior High in Corner Brook, will be making her championship debut at the provincial short course championships in Gander this weekend.
 

CORNER BROOK  Bruce Hamlyn doesn’t see anything holding Rikki LaCour back from achieving success in the pool.

LaCour, a 12-year-old Grade 7 student at G. C. Rowe Junior High in Corner Brook, is one of the budding swimmers coming up through the ranks of the Corner Brook Rapids Swim Club under head coach Hamlyn.

The Rapids is sending a group of swimmers to the provincial short course championships at the Gander Community Centre this weekend and it will be a special occasion for LaCour.

She will be making her championship debut after qualifying in the 400-metre freestyle a few months ago at a time trial held by the club.

“I feel really proud about the work I put in to get my champs time,” LaCour said during a school lunch break earlier this week. “I’ve only been to a couple of meets and it’s my first champ’ so I’m really excited.”

Coach Hamlyn believes LaCour has every reason to feel good about acomplishing a major goal so early in her development.

LaCour took swimming lessons some six years ago and being a competitive swimmer wasn’t something she set out to do at that time.  Hamlyn decided back in October that the time had arrived for the young swimmer to pursue the competitive side of the sport and it proved to be something both the athlete and her parents — Trudy and Rick LaCour — were on board with from the time he brought up the idea.

Earning a qualifying time for the first time was something that didn’t happen overnight, however.

LaCour’s best time in the 400-m freestyle up until October was six minutes and 35 seconds, way off the qualifying mark of 6:12 she needed to earn a trip to Gander this weekend. Getting that goal accomplished sooner rather than later was something both the athlete and parents were really eager to have happen.

“It’s time for her to step it up and work a lot harder and she more than answered the challenge,” coach Hamlyn said of how things unfolded in her quest to qualify.

The swim club actually held a time trial with LaCour’s quest part of the reason. Hamlyn was pleased  to see her rise to the occasion. She worked hard six days a week with early morning rises no big deal as she forged ahead on a mission that was accomplished when she beat the qualifying time by three seconds.

I feel really proud about the work I put in to get my ‘champs’ time. Rikki LaCour, swimmer

“More than the times, it was the hard work she put in,” Hamlyn said. “Just doing everything that I asked of her. Hard work paid off for her.”

He sees a bright future for LaCour in the pool. He believes she has impressive core strength to build upon as she starts to make waves in the pool on the provincial scene now that she’s arrived.

“It’s just a matter of getting her in that spot that she can really do what the best is she can possibly do,” he said.

LaCour is fully immersed in swimming because it simply provides her with an environment that allows her to have fun and meet other athletes through travelling to various meets both on and off the island. She doesn’t dabble in other sports, prefering instead to focus all of her time and energy on seeing how far she can take her swimming skillset.

She’s quite fine with a swimmer’s life.

“I don’t really mind it because I’m pretty good at it and I’m working really hard at it,” she said.

One championship time to her credit, now it’s time for her to get No. 2 and that’s what she hopes to accomplish this weekend when she hits the water for the 200-m freestyle.

She’s confident it will all work in her favour in Gander.

“I’m only one second away from getting the champs time,” she said.

“Yeah, I’m pretty ready for it.”

Hamlyn sees LaCour as a budding star ready to take her place in the echelons of provincial swimming.

“She wants to catch up to all her friends who are 12 years old and I think the momentum she’s got going will have her swimming just as well as the best in the province that we have on our team right now,” he said. “We have the best 12-year-old girls in the province on our team. Absolutely, that’s where the strength of our team is right now.”

Twitter: WS_SportsDesk

Organizations: Corner Brook Rapids Swim Club, Gander Community Centre

Geographic location: LaCour, Corner Brook, Gander

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  • Wayne and Joan Mushrow
    February 03, 2014 - 18:50

    Keep up the good work Ricki, we are so proud of you. Hard work certainly do pay off. Follow your dreams and you will succeed. Nan and Pop